Finally Friday: Medora Nina

These really cute shoes at Zappos are the kind of thing I buy to run around town on weekends with the kids — I have some from Fly London that are similar, and I also just got some from Eileen Fisher. For $69, this is a pretty good price, and this shoe has great reviews. I wish it weren’t so dark on the bottom, but it’s a pretty good choice, all things considered. Amazon has more color options than Zappos, some on sale and some not. This is a good option if you want something a little bit sleeker than a tennis shoe but not as flippy-floppy as a ballet flat. Clarks Medora Nina

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  1. Mom of teen says:

    This is a good option if you want something a little bit sleeker than a tennis shoe

    Haha. I came to ask for suggestions of tennis shoes to wear while running around town. Not a true athletic shoe, but something with more cushioning than Converse Chucks.

    • avocado says:

      I would also like suggestions for the same thing. Sporty and cute, with laces, more cushioning than Chucks or Supergas, but not those retro Adidas and not white.

      • JayJay says:

        Sperrys? I live in mine.

        • Ooh, I was just going to buy a new pair of Chucks but the sperry sneakers are cute as well. I have their duck boots and my goodness, so comfortable!

      • I just got some black leather low sneakers from Naturalizer that are surprisingly trendy and also super cushioned and with arch support.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Keds has some cute ones out believe it or not, and a collaboration with Kate Spade. I haven’t tried them but I’ve been eyeing them!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think these shoes are way more fug than most sneakers. I like New Balance and Adidas.

      • Aunt Jamesina says:

        Yeah, these are awful.

        • Anonymama says:

          Yeah. And I have a high tolerance for comfort v. Frump, so for a second I was like, did I miss something, and these somehow are trendy so-ugly-they’re-cool? But The only people I can picture wearing them are, well, not exactly trendsetters. I mean, they look totally fine and comfortable, but just not particularly fashionable.

    • I’m a big fan of Skechers. I have both the GoWalk SuperSock, and a pair of black slip-ons that I can’t find, but are a little more substantive than the GoWalks and look perfectly fine at work. The GoWalks are definitely more athletic-looking overall, but some of the colors are definitely pretty subtle about it.

      • I love my GoWalk supersocks, but (a) they get sooooo stinky with even one day’s wear, and (b) any hint of water on the sidewalk and my feet are wet. So I am exploring other options. These were literally the only shoes I could wear without foot pain in the six months after my son was born, though.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Strong recommendation for Asics Onitsuka Tigers. They come in a range of colors (including neutrals like black/gray) and are super comfy.

    • I actually really like the canvas slip ons from Crocs. They’re comfortable and you can wash the insoles. I found that Sperrys started to smell after a while, but these never do.

      • POSITA says:

        +1. I’m on my second pair of these and I love them. Awesome cushioning and you can’t tell they’re crocs.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Saucony Original Bullet comes in several colors and is a nice, light sneaker. Size up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Allbirds. I love how comfortable they are and are way more stylish than the other options I see recommended here.

      • Just ordered these and I am so excited! I got mint but was reeeally tempted by yellow. Also has anyone tried the new loafers?

      • octagon says:

        I wish Allbirds had a non-wool option, they are really cute! But will be way too hot for me.

    • I love my Nike Air Pegasus ’83s, although I really need to clean them. Anyone have recs for a great suede/canvas cleaner?

    • I just got a pair of Superga’s after crowdsourcing a similar question on the main site and I love them.

    • Butter says:

      I tried the AllBirds but the fit just didn’t work for me – they weirdly felt too small, even though they’re supposed to stretch, and the next size up was way too big.

      I settled on the Cole Haan OriginalGrand Sneaker when they were on deep sale and LOVE them. They are so comfy and yet look more polished than regular sneaks. I now want them in every color and fabric.

      • The AllBirds arch hits at a a weird place, so I know what you mean – the fit definitely doesn’t work for all feet.

    • rakma says:

      I’m lusting after a pair of Bucketfeet, though I’m afraid I’m too old and uncool for them. The patterns I like aren’t in stock in my size, which has pushed my decision down the road a bit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thirding the Allbirds recc, I also really love my Josef Seibel “Caspian” sneakers (purchased at N-strom). Super comfy and really cute. I get a lot of compliments on them (I have in grey leather).

  2. Meg Murry says:

    I was going to ask for something similar. I like the idea of this shoe, but I think the thick strap would be really unflattering on my cankles.

    What I really need is something along the lines of the featured shoe (athletic-y flats/hybrid sneaker-flat, fashion sneaker, whatever you want to call it) that I can wear with light colored casual dresses cotton dresses and skirts in the spring/summer/fall. I have some spring-y dresses I’m excited to break out (once it stops snowing – WTF, Mother Nature?), but I don’t have shoes to wear with them – so I wind up wearing black shoes that look weird with them, or shoes that pinch my feet, or I just give up and wear Tevas.

    My unicorn shoe is taupe or light gray, stays on my feet without pinching (so a Mary Jane style is ok), closed toe, and doesn’t have a super chunky bottom. Oh, and ideally comes in a wide width. Not a dressy flat, not a sandal. I could probably do another light color, but not bright white – too much mud where I live.

    Everything I’m coming across is either too chunky for my style, or looks borderline OK in other colors but looks like a grandma comfort shoe in taupe.

    This is probably the closest I’ve found, but I’ve owned this style in the past in other colors and they got horribly smelly fast, so I’d like to find something a little different:

  3. Shopping says:

    Happy Friday! J Crew pixie pants are on sale plus 30% off with code. They also have free shipping. I think they look cute with flats and a shirt (untucked) to hide the post-baby belly.

  4. double-bingo says:

    How do I go about making mom friends?? I’m 7 weeks into maternity leave with my first baby, and starting to feel pretty isolated staying home by myself with her all day. Plus I’m the first of my friends to dive into parenthood, so it would be great to make some parent friends. There’s a local breastfeeding group that I enjoy going to, but it only meets every other week, and I’m not sure how to turn those gatherings into other meetups and maybe friendships. Any advice on how to go about this? I’m in Philadelphia, so suggestions for local groups or places to try? Or other Philly ‘r e t t e s who want to hang out with our babies?

    • Search on meetup or facebook for local new moms meet up group. Your pediatrician should know about them if you can’t easily find one. Attend. Ask any mom you’ve chatted with for her number. Text her and ask her out for coffee or a walk. Go if she responds. Rinse and repeat.

    • Anonysaurus (Formerly Anon in NOVA) says:

      This is just tough. It’s tough to make friends as an adult. My child is 6 and, while I’ve met some friends who happen to also have children through work etc., they aren’t really “mom friends”. I haven’t figured out how to connect with moms at my kid’s school/sports team etc.

    • Did your local hospital have a new moms group? Call them and ask – the paperwork can be easy to miss when you’re completely overwhelmed.

      People will suggest things like MOPS and meetup, but in my area those are heavily geared to SAHMs, so once you go back to work, the meeting times are inconvenient and geared to a different interest set. I found it hard to make friends during maternity leave, honestly, but when my kids started at daycare, I made an effort to go and meet moms through that. Strike up a convo with whoever picks up or drops off at the same time you do. Go to all the silly daycare events like Halloween or Dr Seuss week or Movie Night, and talk to the parents while you stand around and look at the kids. You’re a new mom, so easy opening lines are things like “It’s hard to believe they’ll ever get that big” and “How in the world are you so put together? I can barely remember to put on pants every morning.”

      For the isolation during mat leave, try to schedule see-the-baby visits more spread out. Instead of packing them all into a week, try to spread them out over a few weeks. Take a walk to a park. Practice taking baby to a non-crowded restaurant or coffee shop or nearby store.

    • I think it’s hard to make friends before your child starts daycare / activities. At the new baby stage, I would look around for new mom’s support groups. The hospital where I’m delivering runs one – it’s a mix of practical guidance, group therapy, and socializing with other moms. I also made mom friends through Music Together when my son was still an infant (although more like 10 months). It’s a lot easier once daycare/preschool starts though – be friendly with the other parents at drop off and force yourself to take the initiative to set up playdates etc. when your child makes a friend.

    • Walk around a mall at like 10-11am. It’s crawling w people pushing babies in strollers, especially when it’s kind of cold out. Lots of times people are nursing or feeding their babies while sitting in lounge areas, so you could strike up a convo then. Even if it doesn’t result in a mom friend, it helps the “I haven’t talked to anyone except this baby all day” feeling.

    • I agree it’s hard to make real connections, but you might try to find other mommy and me groups or classes – e.g. Mommy/baby yoga, story time at the library, music classes, mom fitness groups (stroller strides, mom’s run this town, etc), new parent support groups (often organized by hospitals), neighborhood moms groups (formal orgs or informal Facebook groups), “crybaby matinees” showings at movie theaters that are baby friendly. (Sorry I don’t have specific recs for philly – I’m in Nova but I imagine you have similar groups/activities there?) Even if you don’t really connect with the other moms at least you’re getting out of the house.

    • I wish I was in Philly!

      I actually still haven’t made friends through kids – so sorry to admit that. I found that those who are SAHMs do meetups, but I don’t have time for that during the week. During maternity leave I’d meet nice women, but we all knew it had an expiration date (my return to work). I am hoping that I make more friends once they are doing things like T-Ball and we are sitting in the stands. Right now between Work, Family, Friends, the prior two are winning.

      But I totally get what you are saying and I hated it too. Solidarity!

    • I haven’t done it yet, because not on maternity leave yet, but there’s two women I’ve chatted with at yoga how live in my town and have small kids (one has a 3yo, one has a 5 month old). I plan on connecting with them on facebook/getting their phone numbers and meeting up while I’m on leave, since the one with the 5mo stays at home now and the one with the 3yo is a therapist who doesn’t always work during the day (or works like 2pm-8pm or something).

      For the me the bump has been helpful in sparking mom conversations. I do have to take the initiative to get their numbers, which is hard for an introvert like me, but it will be awesome to have a mom to meet up with for walks on the bike path/coffee/etc.

    • My neighborhood had a very crunchy baby store, which offered a breastfeeding support group (best $10/wk I’ve ever spent). I cherished that time with the other moms who were in the trenches with me. The store had paid classes (music, sleep training, etc), but there were a couple free options, such as a baby “play” group. I went a few times on maternity leave. My baby simply observed because she was so small, but I really enjoyed the conversations I had. Sadly, the play group is during normal business hours.
      Bottom line: try local baby stores!

    • avocado says:

      It is just hard for working moms. Some of the moms in our day care made friends with one another at pickup and dropoff, but I lived too far away so I didn’t bother to make efforts to connect with them beyond chatting when I ran into them at day care. I only started to make mom friends when my child entered kindergarten near our home and signed up for Girl Scouts and sports. We still only hang out with those families in a kid-centric context (cheering at sports competitions, volunteering at Girl Scout events, play dates, occasional family get-togethers and excursions). I am not going on kid-free coffee dates or girls’ night out with these moms. The ones who don’t work already have tons of close mom friends from church and MOPS and hang out together during the day. The ones who do work are too busy and tired.

      • Anonysaurus (Formerly Anon in NOVA) says:

        yessss to that last part. I’ve tried to bridge the gap between the working moms and non-working moms, but the non-working moms don’t want to do things on weekends because “that’s their only chance for family time” :(

    • This is so hard. Big hugs. I have a friend whose kid was born a week before mine and who lives one town over, and even then it’s been tough to schedule times to hang out! While we were both on maternity leave, sometimes we’d actually Skype and chat while the babies snoozed on us.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Along the same lines, I scheduled “phone dates” with some of my non-local friends that I didn’t get to talk to very much any more. It worked especially well for people across the country from me – one friend called me about once a week on her noon lunch break on the West Coast, which was 3 pm for me, and then we continued the tradition during her maternity leaves. We decided that if we can make an hour a month (or more) to pay to go talk to a therapist, we could prioritize scheduling at least that much time to talking to each other.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had this issue as well (exacerbated by the fact that we had just moved to a new city) and I made a number of friends just by walking around our neighborhood. We’re in the south so that’s a little easier given our weather, but you’ll soon be in warm spring/summer weather in Philly as well. I literally just stopped and talked to anyone with a baby – it’s amazing how having that one thing in common can help as an icebreaker. I’ve actually made a number of my mom friends this way. And I am TOTALLY not a person who randomly talks to people – I’m much more of an introvert and this put me way outside my comfort zone, but again, the baby thing is an amazing icebreaker and allows you to talk about all sorts of things you otherwise wouldn’t (how is he/she sleeping, what are you doing for daycare, where did you deliver, etc.). Good luck, and congrats on the new baby!

    • You have to stick your neck out, but it’s low-risk – all the other new moms are as desperate as you to make friends. It’s sort of like early college. Can you ask at the next breastfeeding support group if anyone would like to meet up with the babies and coffee on the off-week? While you are on leave, you can also join an exercise class (mommy and me yoga or something) or other baby and me class. I live in NYC and joined a neighborhood email group for people with babies born around the same time. When my son was a few weeks old I sent out an email asking if anyone would like to meet up at a coffee shop, and that was the beginning of a very tight knit group that met up in person regularly for years. (I didn’t get to see them much once I went back to work, but still appreciated the email camaraderie and occasional weekend events). I recommend this list of online parenting groups a lot – – although I can’t tell if the one Philly listing would be helpful to you. Once your child is in daycare/school that becomes another way to meet people.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Is there a Facebook group or email chain for the bf group? In the group in my local area, people would just post something like “Going stir crazy and need to talk to some other adults. Baby and I will be at [local coffee shop, neighborhood park, public library, the mall food court, wherever] tomorrow around 10 am if anyone cares to come join me.”

      How long until you go back to work? If you’re going back at 12 weeks (or sooner) I would probably focus more on just trying to get out and talk to adults – *any adults* not just mom friends. Places like the public library, coffeeshops and local stores are probably good for something like that.

    • I am in philly–I will be your friend :) You can email me at philly r!tt! mom at mail of the google. ! are e

      Th Nest is a good place to meet other parents. Also the Nesting House has nice groups. If you email me, I can add you to some google groups and facebook groups that are helpful.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I’m in Philly, well the suburbs. I have a 1.5 year old and am due in July. Can I email you too phillyr!tt!?

      • double-bingo says:

        If you post an email address, or email me at doublebingor e t t e at the google mail (no spaces), I’ll loop you in!

    • Work travel? says:

      I used to be there! I might have even attended the group you’re talking about. Get there early and linger. If you have energy to make lactation cookies bring them for the group – that will start a conversation in which you are the lead.

      Look up baby and me activities near you…music classes, yoga, etc…I used to think it was silly to do enrichment stuff for tiny babies but it’s really for the parents…and it also gives you ideas for how to interact w your baby.

      There used to be another group led by Pennsy hospital downtown; I think you have to pay to attend but it’s like a parenting education/ support group that regularly restarts w similarly aged babies.

      Agreed w other responses- just get out of the house as much as possible w baby and smile at people invitingly. You may not make friends but at least talking w people will go a long way to mitigating that isolation.

      Also remember in any support group or baby class chances are huge that other moms are feeling the same way and would love to be invited to do something. So after yoga ask the woman next to you if she wants to go for a cup of coffee or whatever.

      Good luck!!

    • I met a lot of great families in our preparing for childbirth class. Post birth, we took LO to the local library Baby Time activities and met a bunch of people there too.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      One thing to keep in mind is that you may have friends who aren’t parents but become even better friends once you have a kid. I’ve got a small handful of friends who stepped up after kiddo was born and have become a little village around us. They’ve helped us move, they’ve come over to babysit when I was so over being a single mom, they’ve forced me out of the house when I most needed it, and they’ve just come over and been with me when I was starved for adult company. Several of them are people who have already decided to not have kids, so these aren’t baby-chasers; they are people who love me, love my kid, and have more time and capacity than “mom friends” might. So don’t assume you need all new friends now that you have a baby! Now might be a good time to really dig in with the friends who already have, instead of trying to make new friends while navigating being a new parent.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in Philly too (well…the burbs) but I am up for mom friends anywhere close by! My anon email is 1499moving at the mail by google.

    • double-bingo says:

      Thanks all for the great advice! I am off full time until June and part time until the end of August, so hopefully that’s enough time to build some relationships. I’ve been looking into mom and me classes and support groups, and I guess I just have to put my big girl pants on and ask people out on “dates”! If any other Philly folks are following and interested in meeting up, I’m definitely going to try to arrange something, so email me at doublebingor e t t e at the google mail.

    • *sigh*

      I wish you were in my city. I’m 4 weeks into my leave and terribly, terribly lonely. I just signed up for a Gymboree class this week so hopefully that will help. I also started going on walks with the baby last week at different times of the day to see when the busy walking time is so hopefully I can meet some other moms.

  5. My 4-month-old daughter gets 16-20 oz a day of my pumped b-milk, plus a little nursing, and 8-10 oz a day of formula (I have low milk supply but am doing the best I can, esp now that I’m back at work). The formula we use to supplement is Gerber Good Start Soothe because of gas and constipation. But she HATES it. And, having tasted it, I can’t blame her. The nipple smells/tastes metallic after she’s had a few sips and she makes a face when it comes near her. Plus it’s mostly corn syrup. I would like to find a formula that she likes, is healthier, and agrees with her, which would take the pressure off me since I feel like all I do is pump. It seems like the organic ones (Earth’s Best, Plum Organics), which would be my first choice, can cause constipation, but that’s just anecdata from Amazon reviews–any experience w this? We see the ped next week so I’ll ask her, but would love any recs in the meantime. Google either brings up anti-formula diatribes or “articles” that are sponsored content from formula companies, so I’m having trouble getting straight info.

    • AnonMom says:

      We use Similac Sensitive Non-GMO for the exact reasons. We started him with Similac for Supplementation but then he hated it. Plus it caused constipation. Switching to Similac Sensitive made a huge difference and we had no problems since then. It was recommended by our pedi. Our doctor told us that Organic formula has too much sugar and to stick with regular NON-GMO ones.

      You can do prune juice for constipation. Boil prunes in water and give her the liquid (1 or 2 ounces). It worked for us every time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used Earth’s Best and had no issues with it. I’d generally recommend (though it is a little $$).

      • AnonMom says:

        Similac Sensitive Non-GMO. Our pedi told us that organic formula is not recommend because of the high levels of sugar in it. We had the same problems and they went away by switching to Similac Sensitive.

        • Anonymous says:

          But the main ingredient in that is corn syrup, which OP said she was looking to avoid…

    • Baby’s Only. It’s organic and family owned – not made by Nestle or another large corporation like that.
      Only caveat is that if my baby started to get constipated, I would use the digital scale measure the grams in a serving. It’s amazing how far off a level scoop can be, which throws off the formula/water ratio.

      • No opinion on the formula but YES to weighing it, constipated or not. They tell you “level, unpacked scoop” but my scoops were consistently around a gram less than what the scoop was supposed to be. Weighing was also tons easier when making pitchers.

      • Interesting! So does too much powder per volume of water lead to constipation, or the other way around? I bake w a scale so I’m a huge fan of the precision piece and never thought to apply it to formula powder.

        • With my child, proportionally the more formula the denser the stools, the more water the looser the stools.
          I eventually found the exact “right” gram/oz of water mix for my daughter and we had consistent and (relatively) easy to clean bowel movements.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Is she actually constipated (hard, dry stools)? Or is it more that she doesn’t go very frequently and when she does, she strains a little? Since she mostly gets b-milk with only some formula, the fact that her stools aren’t very frequent isn’t super concerning, and that isn’t really constipation, just infrequent.

          • Good question. A little of both, but mostly the latter. She’s always pooped every 2-3 days, regardless of the formula:b-milk ratio she’s getting. Sometimes she has a formed poop that she strains to produce, and then a gigantic, normal one a few hours later. Now that I’m remembering back to the haze of the first weeks, the main problem with Similac was gas, which the Gerber did address.

      • Two Cents says:

        + Baby’s Only. We tried a few kinds when we were supplementing and everything else just smelled g-d awful. Baby’s Only was the only one that didn’t, and we liked that it was organic.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I know that a lot of moms in my area used Holle and liked it.

    • mascot says:

      We used the Costco Kirkland brand (which IIRC is manufactured by the same company that does Similac). Not organic, but I don’t think it has corn syrup. And the price is significantly cheaper than other brands.

    • mmGreenf says:

      We’re using Plum Organics (main ingredient is lactose rather than corn syrup). Baby has been getting backed up lately, but likely due to solids rather than the formula. We also tried Holle when we were supplementing early on. It’s the only formula that actually tasted OK, but it was too hard to order.

    • I went through this too! And then I joined some evidence / science based parenting and feeding groups on FB, and learned that BM has a lot of sugar, and they use corn syrup SOLIDS, not HCFS, to sweeten formula for infants that may have a sensitivity to cow lactose. Those are really the only two options, both perfectly safe and healthy. Here is a great article to read:

  6. Potty training logistics help, please. Toddler is starting to “go” on the potty in the evenings, so I fear that full-on training is in our near future. Two questions. First, did you really carry around a travel potty in your purse for the early days? If not, how do you handle outings where bathrooms aren’t readily available (the park)? We’re trying to minimize the crap in our diaper bag so the idea of actually toting around an actual toilet is unattractive.

    Second q: are there alternatives to the “oh crap” method? As mentioned, toddler has started successfully using the potty before bed, but still wears diapers during the day. I’m thinking of a more gradual approach- keeping diapers but being more consistent about taking him to the potty during the day. Does this just drag things out and/or confuse the issue? Has anyone done this? As a complicating factor, we have two big trips coming up (we’re flying) so the soonest we could realistically do the “oh crap” method is in a month. Ok to take a gradual approach in the meantime?

    • I posted semi-recently when we were about to give up after four days. On day five it was like a flip switched and we’ve had one accident in the month since (and that was at home).

      We followed Oh Crap. There may be alternatives but we had so much success I wouldn’t mess with a good thing!

      We bring a potty if we are going to the park with no bathroom but everywhere else we just use theirs? We stick it in the bottom of the stroller, but we also have a younger one. Also we just didn’t go anywhere for a week but now we don’t let potty training stop us. Post-day 5 it’s really been pretty amazing.

      • Thanks – and congrats! That was another question – how long are you in the stage of “omg need a potty right this instant” vs. able to handle normal outings with normal potty access (e.g. Target or the mall).

        • We did an outing to dinner at 6 days, park at 7 days, after two weeks we were taking her everywhere without really stressing. She got good at holding it/going before we left really fast! But that’s just mine.

          And the first four days were the worst and I was ready to throw in the towel.

        • Meg Murry says:

          A big part of that is age and how far they are “trained” when you go to just underwear. In my opinion there are a couple levels of being “trained”
          -Can stay dry as long as you enforce a potty break every hour (gradually working up to every 2-3 hours)
          -Starting to tell you when they need to go, but often only with a minute or less to spare
          -Consistently will communicate with you when they need to go
          -Will actually stop playing/doing whatever activity before they wet themselves or before it’s a “30 seconds to emergency” situation.

          I’ve found that under age 3, you are often in those first 2 stages, and it isn’t until 3.5+ and/or “trained” for a year that the kids are reaching those 3rd & 4th stages. Basically, it’s more that initially the kid is trained to stay dry, and the adult has to be “trained” to mentally keep track of how long since the last potty break and anticipate when the next one will be needed in advance.

          And along with that are the degrees of “will use a little potty/potty with a seat topper” up to “doesn’t break down in a hysterical meltdown because they are scared of the automatic flushers and loud air dryers and will actually use the public restroom”. My youngest son was “trained” at home and daycare by 2.5, but terrified of the bathrooms at the public library and a few other places in town for quite a while, so we had to factor in “place with a bathroom he will actually use” at least once every 2 hours or so.

          • My son is almost 5 and still hates automatic flushing and those super loud hand dryers.

          • FWIW my 25 month old hit third and fourth stages at a week to two weeks though, so you may be pleasantly surprised! But agreed we do better if we are consistently asking her. She doesn’t have an accident necessarily but the whole process is more leisurely.

            We’ve also bribed with M&Ms and now she’s eating candy regularly so that’s the one downside to having had it go well. She’s 100 percent but doesn’t understand that maybe the reward won’t be forever…

            Automatic flushers are the worst. I’ve started pre-scouting to avoid them where possible. Is there a trick to disable them? There’s got to be right?

          • I’ve read that you can stick a post-it over the “eye” to disable the auto-flush … haven’t tried it though.

          • post-it note or holding your hand over the photoeye. I totally get why they are scary to kiddos!

          • Meg Murry says:

            Plus the auto flushers and hand dryers are right at their ear level and they are so very loud! My son was traumatized by accidentally walking directly under one of those super loud Xlerator dryers and having it start up right above him, which led to him refusing to even go near that bathroom for a long time, and freaking out when he heard the dryer from outside of the bathroom.

            I’ve definitely been known to pick a restaurant with slightly less good food but far better bathrooms over one I love to eat in but where my kids hate the bathrooms, because I’d rather not deal with the wet pants and/or freakouts.

          • shortperson says:

            my kid was totally different. had all four of those down when we started, but took forever (often an hour every d*mn time) to actually “let it go.” for us that meant we could take 1-3 hour trips immediately but spent most of the time sitting around the house trying to go. after 3 weeks she was comfortable anywhere, so we have never carried around any potties or special attachments. which is to say it all depends on your own kid’s issues.

            but she’s still terrified of those loud hand dryers. they’re too loud for me too, i never use them. does anyone actually like these things?

    • We stayed in diapers but put her on the potty if she asked for about two months. Then over Labor Day weekend, we cleared our calendars and followed Oh Crap, and it worked. (Which I credit to the gradual method for two months ahead of time.)

      And we bought the Potette Plus travel toilet. It folds up remarkably small, so we kept it in either the car or the stroller, but definitely used it for parks and parades and even side-of-the-road stops. We only had to tote it around for a month or so, now it just lives in the trunk “just in case” on long road trips.

      • Thanks – I think this is the way we’re headed (2 months gradual followed by “oh crap”). Glad to hear it worked for you!

    • The Potette is great – it can unfold and be used as a potty in the park, with a plastic bag in it if necessary, or as a seat on top of a toilet. And it is fairly compact. But yes, we carried it around for at least 6 months or so, more for using on top of a toilet than al fresco. We did not follow Oh Crap! or any other real method. We let daycare take the lead when my son was about 3, but he was having constant poo accidents and I was loosing my mind, so we backtracked to pullups and tried again at 3.5, at which point he could do it without much “training.” I firmly believe that potty training is much like baby sleep. There is not One True Path, and you have to do what works for you. I think I honestly preferred my kid being in diapers for another 6 months to being trapped in the apartment with him all weekend.

    • The only thing about carrying around a potty, is you’re up a creek if you forget it. Auto-flushers and loud hand-dryers are an issue, but they’re an issue for years after toilet training is over.

  7. So I know joints loosen up during pregnancy and stay loose during bfeeding, but I’ve got a nine month old and one of my shoulders still pops when I shrug my shoulders. Like audibly. Did anyone else have this happen? Trying to figure out if this is the sort of thing I should see a doctor or PT about. I have this vision of future arthritic shoulders… If i were to say where I’m loose I’d say it’s my shoulder blade?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I would talk to your doctor, but also consider some strength training – lugging around a 9 month old is heavy work, and you’re probably also carrying a diaper bag and a bunch of other stuff. I know I tended to carry my kiddo on my right side, diaper bag slung cross body always the same direction, and developed some shoulder and hip issues as a result. Consider switching to a backpack if you’re not already using one. And get some regular massages; frozen shoulder is a thing and it affects moms more often than men or women without children.

  8. Just coming here to vent that I had a call with Asia that went past 11pm last night, which is officially 2 hours past this pregnant lady’s bedtime. I’m seriously considering collapsing into bed as soon as I get home tonight!

    • You have my permission to do so! I fell asleep at 8pm the other night – it was glorious. Husband is out tonight so am seriously considering having a bowl of cereal and crawling in bed with a book and the cat.

    • Anonysaurus (Formerly Anon in NOVA) says:

      you absolutely should.

    • Takeout and an early bedtime sounds like an ideal Friday night to me. (Not joking.) Go for it!

      • Anonysaurus (Formerly Anon in NOVA) says:

        Right?! I’m not pregnant and this sounds heavenly for tonight!

      • Totally doing this, by the way.

        • Anonysaurus (Formerly Anon in NOVA) says:

          Good! You should!
          Going to see if I can make this happen for myself. Well, at least at 7:30 or so when my son is in bed.

    • Work travel? says:

      I miss being able to go to bed at 7! Which I did for approximately weeks 6-14 and 28-40. So do it and feel zero regrets. You are making a human in there, it’s exhausting!

  9. Hollis says:

    Posting from yesterday to get more ideas: I’m a law firm partner and my main associate is having a baby this summer. I think we should do something for her to celebrate – what would hit the right celebratory tone without requiring people to feel like they need to buy gifts, etc.? Should I just ask the partners to contribute toward a gift and buy something (a gift card maybe) on behalf of the group and we all go out to lunch somewhere? One wrinkle is that we are part of two different groups at the firm – together only about 10 lawyers total. Also, FWIW, we have no recent precedent for this since we are all laterals and we either had kids before joining, or are happily without kids.

    • Clementine says:

      So I really like how my workplace does it. There is often a food-thing (going out to lunch would be nice! otherwise, we’ve done cake, pizza in the office, and actually a potluck ‘dip-off’ which were nice) and then we do a gift card.

      The way it works is there are one or two collectors and it’s a very casual ‘if you would like to contribute to a gift card for X, please see Sansa or John Snow’ email. It’s very low pressure and we don’t keep track of who contributes what. People can throw in $2 or $100 and nobody knows. We do the gift card for a baby store where they’re registered or amazon. Always a hit.

      • EB0220 says:

        Yep, this is exactly what we do for the gift card. It works really well and people always like it.

      • mascot says:

        My offices have done something similar. If it’s an in-office celebration, it’s nice to invite the other parent-to-be assuming they know some of the co-workers, but not necessary.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. Email providing date/time for cake and coffee in break room or conference room with note that if you would like to contribute towards gift see xyz person. Gift is usually a gift card and a couple onesies with cute/irreverent sayings (Don’t drop me my mommy is a lawyer / Mommy’s co-counsel / Little Litigator with picture of alligator etc).

  10. NewMomAnon says:

    *Sigh* Kiddo (age 3) has been begging to give up diapers at night, and last night put her foot down. At 1 am, she woke up wet. I know she isn’t physically ready; she can’t regularly get through nap without an accident, much less all night. But she was so upset, and kept saying, “Mama, I tried to stay dry, I tried.” I just feel bad for her. I know it’s important to her, and she has hated diapers from the time she was a newborn, but I don’t think it’s something she can will herself into. Being a kid can be hard.

    • EB0220 says:

      Aw, poor thing. Would she like pull-ups or some different kind of interesting diaper maybe? Also, sometimes I let my 2.5 year old wear underwear under/over her diaper at night. Still stays dry but she can wear underwear.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        She wears the “Goodnights” overnight diapers (or the huggies alternative, I forget), which are a pull-up style and have a rotating set of Disney characters on them (the current pack is Tinkerbell, which was very exciting when we opened them). I think she objects to the feeling of a wet diaper on her tush, which is understandable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aw, poor thing. How about you try again and get her up every 3 or 4 hours to go potty until she gets better at it? That’s what we did with my kid (who admittedly was very easy to potty train).

    • Meg Murry says:

      poor kiddo. Poor Mama. My 5 year old is now mostly consistently dry, but last night he wet the bed. Only, to make it worse, he wet *my* bed, in a most thorough fashion (how did so much liquid get into that tiny body??). So I got to give a bath to a screaming, not really awake kid at 4 am.

      Is there a kids book about a big kid that still needs to wear diapers at night until his/her body grows up a bit more? If not, it seems like there is a market for this, because lots of kids still need diapers or pull ups well into age 4-5 at night.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Oh, poor kiddo. I know your daughter has sleep issues. If you woke her up in the middle of the night to take her to the bathroom before you went to bed, do you think that would be good or awful? I wouldn’t do it if it were awful, but maybe that could work.

      • Sabba says:

        This may not apply to every kid, but most kids have a deep sleep cycle for 3 to 4 hours after falling asleep. They can usually stay asleep through a pee or will fall right back asleep if you get them in this window. After the deep sleep window, all bets are off.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        I approach my kid like friable asbestos when she’s asleep….disturb at your own peril….

    • Anonymous says:

      Consider putting pee-pads on her mattress so that she doesn’t have to wear a diaper? (e.g.,

      • avocado says:

        We used these successfully, but only when we were sure our kid was physically ready to train at night. They seemed to work because if she wet the bed with underwear on she would feel wet enough to wake up and run to the potty. Pull-ups did not provide that same feeling of wetness. She learned very quickly to wake up when she needed to go.

        The pads just kept us from having to change the sheets in the middle of the night; we still had to change the pads and all of her clothes. They also worked best when she woke up right away. With a large quantity of liquid, the top sheet would still get wet.

        • In House Lobbyist says:

          I bought a waterproof mattress pad that had been amazing. I usually just wipe it down with a Lysol wipe in the middle of the night and throw a new sheet on. It is so amazing that I got them for all the beds after someone had an accident in my bed. I feel you – I have a 3 year old that decided she was done with night diapers and she has done amazing well. But her 6 year old brother still wears a night pull up and gets woken up at night by us. And that still doesn’t guarantee even a dry pull-up.

    • Sabba says:

      My little one is night trained and has been since about 28 months.. She had quite a few accidents the first few weeks, but seemed to get it pretty quickly. Here is what we do:

      *Before I get ready for bed, about 2 hours after she has been asleep, I go in her room, pick her up, put her on a little potty and make an “ssssss” sound to let her know to pee. She stays asleep but always pees.
      *For the first 8 weeks or so, I woke myself up again at 2am and helped her pee. She woke up a little bit more for this one.
      *We encourage fluids in the morning and discourage at night. We don’t withhold water and now she even goes to bed with a half full sippy cup. Sometimes she drinks it, sometimes she doesn’t, but we aren’t seeing accidents.
      *When we were in the accident stage (which really was very short), I made sure to get three sets of sheets and two waterproof covers. When she had the accident, my spouse would help me strip the bed and replace the sheets, and I would run downstairs and put the wet set in the laundry immediately and then dry it in the morning. Only once did she have two accidents in one night. At that point, I put down a bunch of towels on the guest bed and she slept there. Not the best night ever but it only happened once. I think I also started getting her a tad earlier for her first pee when I noticed that helped with accidents.
      *Every once in awhile she does not pee when I go to get her. I usually try again about 30 minutes later and see if it works then. If not, I tell my husband that whoever wakes up in the night to pee needs to get her and help her pee when they wake up. Usually one of us ends up getting her before she has an accident.

      I think this is feasible for you, but may involve extra laundry for a week or two. Let her try for two weeks and commit to getting her and helping her go a few hours after she falls asleep. If it doesn’t work, she may be glad that you at least tried and helped her come up with a plan to make an attempt.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Lord love you, but that sounds like my personal version of night time hell (and with my kiddo’s sleeping issues, that’s a high bar). She’ll go to college in diapers before I put myself through 2 am alarm clock wakeups. I also use communal coin-op laundry which adds another layer of awful to that, though.

        • Sabba says:

          LOL. The 2am wake ups were not great, but it was very temporary. Totally worth it. The coin op laundry sounds like a nightmare, though.

    • Work travel? says:

      Oh this makes me sad. I have no advice just commiseration as my 7-year old who completely day trained at 26 months still can’t stay dry at night, and it mortifies him that younger sibling can wear underwear and he can’t. So I’m sorry but it sounds like you know that this is biological and can’t be rushed.

    • Anonymous says:

      What if you tell her she only has to wear diapers for half the night? I tried this — my LO HATED night diapers, so I told her that as soon as she woke up to go potty, she could take it off and sleep without it for the rest of the night. She seemed to buy in a little bit, and if she DID wake to pee, she wasn’t likely to have an accident in the morning. I also gave her a piece of candy in the mornings when she woke up with a dry night diaper and used the potty.

  11. Betty says:

    Another Friday vent: Looking for our next au pair takes so much time. I know how important it is to screen well, but so much of it is luck. Plus, Cultural Care imposes the weird sense of scarcity by only allowing one family at a time to hold a profile, so I have had people disappear while looking at the profile. We have done this twice before (initial au pair and rematch), so I am not a complete novice. However, I feel like I am aimlessly drifting from profile to profile looking for unquantifiable qualities. I feel like 80% of the candidates would be “fine,” 10% have nightmare potential and 10% are amazing. I am terrified of the 10% nightmare (our first who went home after two weeks), feeling unmotivated by the vast majority and unable to find the amazing. Argh!!

    • Sabba says:

      Do they have references? I think that references can be one of the best indicators of quality. Our last nanny, that we adored, had a pretty mediocre application. But when we got to the reference section, 4 families were singing her praises. Never regretted hiring her. She had very high EQ and I hope some of that rubbed off my child.

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